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Good Time Girl

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Good Time Girl

Publication date 1948
Jean Kent stars in the 1948 film as Gwen Rawlings, a young girl who drifts in to a life of seedy nightclubs and petty crime when she is dismissed from her job after being falsely accused of theft. Her love for a nightclub musician is not enough for her and her search for excitement leads her on a downward path to murder....


Reviewer: skyhook - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 10, 2013
Subject: Strong medicine.
This is a tough, hard movie, from England in 1947 (well, that's the copyright date on the opening screen anyway). There's no swearing, no sex or gratuitous violence, but the grip of danger and injustice underpinning the screenplay wrings out more, dramatically, than buckets of S,S and GV ever could. It's the kind of post-war movie which will inevitably be described as 'Noir', but that's a pretty loose fit to my mind.

The flaw in the film is that it's wrapped up as a morality play within a play. At the beginning, a young tearaway is shown (Scrooge-like) what became of someone just like her, who didn't mind her manners - and of course the tearaway realises the error of her ways and her delinquency is cured in a tick. Sweet. This is a great disservice to what is otherwise an unflinching look at real life. The whole point of the film is that the protagonist had little or no choice - it portrays what can happen to ANYONE from the wrong side of the tracks unlucky enough to become enmeshed in a clumsy and stupid social machine. Never mind, the 'moral-wrapping' nonsense only lasts a few minutes right at the beginning and end, and the main story is compelling enough that you'll forget the nonsense in as many seconds.

The story is of a youngster who, betrayed by those around her, drifts into cynicism and brutalisation, slowly enough that by the time she's shocked into alertness she can't escape. Or the story of a youngster who realises that given a society capable of such betrayal, then there's nowhere to escape to anyway. . . If you took the movie's basic elements and added the trappings of our own era, it would be one that would disturb modern audiences. There's no Hollywood here, calculatedly piling on the agony like an experiment, to see when the audience will crack, and then releasing it all in a last-minute happy ending so they go home all warm inside. Okay, there's the brief and misjudged 'moral-wrapping', but that insincere fluff evaporates before your eyes.

Jean Kent is well cast as the 16-yr old both self-determined and naive, ready to be a victim. Herbert Lom is exactly right as the menacing, controlling but straight nightclub owner. Flora Robson is as coldly compassionate as you imagine a juvenile magistrate would be. Dennis Price is always good to watch but maybe a bit unlikely in this role as a night club pianist and hero. Various pimps, thugs and low-lifers are well played, and the black nightclub doorman is treated as a nightclub doorman, not some eye-rolling "yas massa" comedy relief, which is a relief in itself.

The picture quality is fair and the sound is okay. There's a clicking or clunking on the soundtrack all the way through, but it's so even and regular that it doesn't intrude much. Five stars for the real deal.
Reviewer: lgeubank - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 8, 2011
Subject: Grade-A Noir/Melodrama
I agree with other reviewers, that this noir-ish movie is exceptionally good, with top-shelf acting and script.

It has something I can't really define, but which means a lot to me -- a certain tone or mood (or maybe "ambiance") created by the dialog, scenery, EVERYTHING. Modern movies can't duplicate that 30's and 40's tone. This movie has it perfectly.

Plus it's an interesting story, well-acted and directed. It's nice to see a very young Herbert Lom (Peter Sellers' / Inspector Clouseau's superior officer) as the nightclub owner.

The music score even stands out -- at one point a solo violin plays Beethoven's "Minuet in G" at a slow tempo.

An intelligent movie.
Reviewer: kingfast - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2011
Subject: British Noir
Exceptionally good, as close to American noir as the British variety gets. You have to admire the courage of this girl who gets involved with a series of hoodlums but fights her corner all the time. Fast moving and engaging.
Reviewer: cooperway4 - - March 16, 2011
Subject: wrong DAR
The resolution is at 640x480 which is correct. But the DAR appears to be 1.85. If using the VLC Player just select Video > Aspect Ratio > 4:3 and it will be correct. You can also use any free conversion program to re-transcode it with the proper DAR.

I'm holding off on a rating until after I've watched it.
Reviewer: jazzfan - - March 15, 2011
Subject: Re-Upload
Please. It's too distorted. The movie was not wide-screen so why make it like that?
Reviewer: flair - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 15, 2011
Subject: A Good Time
Worth watching despite the aspect distortion .
Reviewer: bearpuf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2011
Subject: Excellent
As tame as one might think movies would be during the '40's the storyline gets pretty raw. Engrossing not only for the plot but because the acting is so good. Well worth watching.
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2011
Subject: Great British flick
Acting and script are top shelf for the time and you'll want to root for the young woman till the very end to make good choices and yet she never manages even though she is always the victim in nearly every bit of her troubles. They juxtapose innocence and arrogance, rebelliousness with naivety..Ruthlessness with kindness. Well done movie.
Reviewer: evilgenius13 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2011
Subject: cautionary tale
Thanks jayneekay0807 for posting this film. The image was a little distorted, but fairly clear. A story within a minor framing story, kind of like the arabian nights story. Great costumes and characters, and a good albeit sanitized and euphemistic view of female juvenile delinquents as victims of social structures and institutions. The mid-century prequel to Precious, maybe.
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